Recently in my day to day I have been trying to put my phone down. Some days I fail, I get sucked into the twisting, winding roads of social media. The days that I do put my phone down seem to be different. I feel more connected. I am aware of what my wife is doing next to me. I’m watching tv without also looking at my phone. If you’re like me, you re-watch your favorite shows. I have started to watch Friends,again, but this time I watch their facial expressions. I know what is going to happen now that I have seen it more than 3 times, so I watch their face and focus on their acting. I also find that when I am on social media, I WANT things. I want to buy more things, do more things and get this sense of self that I am not enough or not doing enough. These two different feelings are how my mindfulness is going. I want to be less connected online and more connected in real life. I watched a TED talk by Gillian that helped pull my mindfulness into more perspective (https://youtu.be/WiVHSRY2I5Y). She talks about using what you have instead of buying new and then never using it. My title of this blog is a quote from her, “I am not enough, and I don’t have enough.” She says this when she talks about shopping habits, like buying a pair of heels to make you feel better but then never bringing them out of the closet. By using what we have and not letting things go to waste in our own homes, is mindfulness. Marc Cohen talks about wellness, which I think also ties to what Gillian speaks about in her TED talk. Gillian talks about using what you have and in correlation with that you might end up with less stuff. Marc talks about your environment being well, so that in turn you are well. Less stuff in your home, for me anyway, means more wellness in my surroundings. It is no surprise that people do ‘spring cleaning’ so that they start their new season ‘fresh.’ I remember my mom doing it, and now I do it too. I have noticed, though, that I do a ‘spring cleaning’ before almost every season. I need wellness in my home and sometimes that means a deep clean every now and then. I take inventory of what I have and what I could maybe do without. Sometimes one season is harder than others. I wish my mom would have taught us more about using what we have and wellness in the home. I might have some different, healthier behaviors.
What the ‘mindfulness and sustainability’ reading really hooked me on was the teaching in schools. Mindfulness 100% should be taught to the young minds in the world. My wife works at a mental health facility in OKC with adults and I know every patient in the facility could have used mindfulness teachings at their young age. IF we teach children to be mindful of their selves and others THEN we might have more love in the world. Sustainability, I believe, also has to do with social justice. Working together as a collective to reach the goals that we all have. Mindfulness helps you connect with others; it helps break down walls that everyone puts up so that we ‘don’t have to talk to each other’ anymore. Mindfulness teachings might help get everyone to a place that they think about their purchase before impulsively buying them. We can start to question retailers about their manufacturing processes. WE, as consumers, should be asking “who made this t-shirt” and “were they paid/treated appropriately.” My topic is to research fast fashion and sweat shops. By opening our eyes to this problem, we can start to move in slow fashion and move out the fast fashion.
Think about what slow fashion means. Think about buying clothing that will last ALL of college. Not just all semester but ALL FOUR YEARS. Do you still wear things from high school? I have really started to take note of what I have and what I am using. I have started to question where my garments came from and who made them. I have stopped buying fast fashion as much as possible. I am trying to be mindful and respectful of my planet with my fashion habits. Slowing down the fashion industry is just one way to combat its nasty habits. Slowing down life’s pace is also a good way to gain perspective. The meditation exercise in class was great. Really focusing on your breathing was very centering for me. You really could listen to your thoughts and focus on what the next task was that you needed to get done. Mediating will help you put into perspective what your goals are, mediating will help with your grades and meditating helps with your problem solving. Breathing exercises center you. It helps you focus on your wishes and gripes. We went over wishes and gripes in the Wild Things activity. I thought it was cool how we switched groups. You got to solve other people’s gripes, just like you might do in real life. Sometimes you don’t fix your gripes, sometimes your wish is that you fix the world’s gripes.